ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG "CHRISTMAS" LITHO, 1977

 The act of incorporating the physical material of everyday life into artwork was a central part of Robert Rauschenberg's practice, uniquely referred to as “combines”.

The combines, begun in the 1950s, hybridized collage, painting, and sculpture with use of materials including paint, food packaging, and bits of wood. In these works, everyday materials were given the same treatment as traditional art materials. The artist’s flat, canvas bound combines evolved to be three-dimensional, some even standing on their own as sculpture.

Rauschenberg’s interest in quotidian materials extended to his use of mass media images in his collages. Rauschenberg used a similar multimedia approach as the early 20th century cubists, but achieved significantly different results. Made up of diverse images from newspaper and magazine clippings, these works emphasized the diversity of the combined images to refocus on form and color and refute a traditional, singular, meaning of the work of art.

“Christmas” brings together disparate images with a jarringly random title. The banal horse and rose cuttings are paired with evocative images of space technology, likely inspired by his 1969 visit to Cape Canaveral to witness the launch of NASA’s Apollo 11. This motif is present in much of his work of this time.

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Published by Styria Studio, New York (blind stamp in lower center)

Signed, dated and numbered by the artist.

From an edition of 150.

Color offset lithograph

4.5"H 6.75"W (work)

Very good condition

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